Disclaimer: This is a work of fan fiction. NARUTO is Masashi Kishimoto's. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed real. Any resemblance to any stories is entirely coincidental.
If you see any grammar and spelling mistakes, please tell me.
Morning came as the sun rises up in the sky. Sunlight reached throughout the horizon, conquering and overtaking every bit of darkness in its wake, making shades in return. It spread across the land, and into the windows of the houses of Shijo Street.
In a pleasant room inside a small but comfortable house, the sunlight passed through the glass window only to be obstructed by the curtains, shielding most of the room from its offending rays. But some of the light went past through the gap between the curtains and rested upon the peaceful profile of Hyuuga Hinata, whose body curled beneath the blanket, her face vulnerable to the light.
After a minute or two, Hyuuga Hinata's face grimaced at the disturbing light and subconsciously pulled the blanket over her face in order to evade it before continuing on her dreamless state.
The door was suddenly opened with a loud BANG!, and a tall figure of a man casually strode in. The side of his lips, however, twitched in irritation at the undisturbed lying body on the bed. With a sigh, he ruffled his raven locks, his way of expressing his vexation, and approached the bed near the window.
Drinking in the sight of her bundled form, unconsciously, his frowning lips stretched to a small, nearly undetectable smile, and when he caught himself, they immediately turned back to their previous position before growling, "Oi."
This, however, didn't manage to pull the Hyuuga out from her slumber, which only aggravated the teenage boy more.
"Oi, wake up," he tried again, his eyebrow twitching a little.
He was rewarded with a soft groan, but nevertheless, the sleeping figure remained asleep.
"Oi woman, you'll be late for work," the exasperated teenager said with a loud voice this time and through his gritted teeth.
The figure underneath the covers moved and turned, pulling the blanket off her face in the process. His body tensed and went rigid at the sight of her serene face, his heartbeat pumping faster every second, but it was gone the moment her lips moved and, in a voice that indicated her subconscious state, said, "Five - more - minutes - Sasu-chan..."
He heard something inside him snap and an angry vein in his temple throbbed.
Without hesitation, he pulled up his feet and kicked the figure off the bed, completely ignoring his nagging conscience. The loud bump on the floor and the "Ow!" and painful groans that followed after satisfied him.
Fully awake now, her body aching, Hyuuga Hinata hastily sat up, glared at the culprit standing aloofly across the bed and thundered in a reprimanding voice, "What did you do that for?"
"Finally awake, sleepy head," he coolly said, shrugging her scolding off, before turning around to exit the room.
Frustrated at the unruly act, Hinata stood, giving no heed to the dizziness from the rush of blood in her head, and said, "Come back here, you ungrateful brat! Is this how you treat your okaasan*?" (mother)
His retreating figure halted at her words and as Hinata was about to say more, he muttered under his breath, "Che. You're not my 'kaasan."
Hearing a reply from him greatly startled her for he would usually ignore the last question, and so she was unable to hear his words properly causing her to stutter, "Wha- what?"
For a moment, she thought she saw his body tensed, but before she knew it, he shouted over his shoulder, "I - said - shut - up, you stupid hag!" Then he slammed the door just in time to avoid the pillow aimed at him, leaving a furious Hinata behind.
Her face red and breaths short, Hinata was rendered speechless as she glared at the door.
Hinata put the folders, which consist of data of her patients, on her table with force that sent a random paper flying. Her secretary, who is her closest friend at work and whom she would chat with, took the said paper and placed it back on the table while laughing rather freely at her expression.
"That - conceited - ungrateful - rude - brat!" Her lips curled in anger.
"But you've got to admit, your boy got a style. Literally kicking you off the bed, I mean," her blonde companion replied, chuckling at the display of tantrum.
"I-Ino-chan," Hinata said, aghast at her secretary's comment. "Are you on my side or not?" Seriously, how could her friend enjoy this?
Ino merely shrugged at her, unfazed at the accusing tone.
"That brat," groaned Hinata as she sat on her chair. "Since when did he become so... so... so..." Hinata's face contorted as she desperately tried to find the perfect word.
"So-?" Ino encouraged.
Surrendering, Hinata settled on "...bratty?" making her friend chortle in return.
"Honestly Hinata, you need to work on you vocabulary, dear," Ino said, completely amused.
Ignoring the blonde's comment, Hinata continued on muttering under her breath, "Disturbing my beauty sleep... Kicking me off the bed... Calling me a hag... I need to teach that son of mine a lesson..."
"Speaking about your son," Ino intervened. Hinata can't help but notice the twinkle in her secretary's sky colored eyes. "Shikamaru told me Sasuke ordered a bouquet of flowers when I was showering earlier. Pity I didn't see him."
It was a known fact that aside from being a secretary, Ino is the manager of her family's business, The Yamanaka's Flower Shop. The position was thrust to her hands when her parents died in a car crash when she was just a teenager. It proved to be difficult for her to cope up with her studies while managing the shop on her own, but albeit the situation, she was able push through in the end. "So, who's the lucky girl, eh?"
Instead of jumping in joy and fussing over this piece of information as what mothers would normally do, Hinata sulked. Confused at the unexpected behavior, Ino asked, "What's with you? You've been obsessed over your son like a doting mother for ages, praising him, complimenting him, complaining about him with every chance you get. What's with the change of reaction?"
Hinata sighed as she rested her back on the backrest of the chair. "I remembered fervently asking him about it. Who wouldn't want to know how their son's love life is going? A boy like him would surely attract a large population of drooling girls. But he denied me, saying he has no girlfriend." By this time, Ino was stuttering her disbelief. "We have the same reaction Ino-chan. I told him not to be shy. I... I've wanted to go shopping with his girlfriend sometime, not that he knows this of course. He doesn't know how I've been longing for a heart to heart talk with the girl who'll capture his heart since he was young, you know," Hinata added, her face blushing slightly.
"And then?" pressed Ino, who to Hinata's relief didn't bother to comment at her last statement. Ino already knew how obsessed her friend is to her son's life. There's no surprise in that.
"Well, he seemed pissed off at me and told me that he'll never let me meet any girlfriend of his for his entire life because I'll just scare her away instead," Hinata huffed. "How rude..."
On the other hand, Ino, whose mirth already evaporated, seemed to be preoccupied in her thoughts.
"About love life..." Ino dragged her words, closely scrutinizing her friend's reaction. "There's this group date I planned tonight," Ino said slowly, taking note at the uncomfortable squirm her boss is making as she busied herself in writing a comment on one of her patient's data.
"You're going-" Ino paused before adding rather forcefully, "-right?"
"Eh?" Hinata discreetly swallowed the lump in her throat, her son's earlier misbehavior forgotten. "O-Oh. A group date, huh..." When she can't pretend to be writing a comment any longer, she sighed and faced her blonde companion. "I... I don't think I can go, Ino-chan," Hinata sheepishly said.
Ino's face hardened. "And pray tell why the hell not?" This question bugged Hinata more.
"W-w-well, after work, I... I need to take care of the house, you know. That bratty son of mine needs to be taken care of, y-you see," Hinata replied, seemingly becoming more uncomfortable at every word.
When Ino didn't reply, Hinata deemed it to be the end of conversation, and so she continued on writing comments to other data.
For a long time, Ino remained on gazing at her scribbling notes before she said, "Ne, Hinata."
Hinata nearly jumped that all she was able to reply was "Mm?" that sounded like a squeak.
"Don't you think it's time to let go?" Ino asked.
"Eh?" Hinata asked, confused at Ino's question.
"Sasuke is already seventeen, and he's turning eighteen next year. Don't you think it's time for you to search for a man?"
Understanding to what Ino was trying to convey, Hinata muttered, "Oh. A man huh..."
Unperturbed at Hinata's lack of enthusiasm response, Ino trailed on and said, "Sasuke is surely going to enroll to a prestigious university in Suna, seeing as he's a genius kid, and you'll be left alone in your house by yourself by then."
"Y-yeah... You're right. B-bu-"
"That's why you definitely can't refuse this group date. Understand?" pressed Ino rather forcefully.
Left with no choice under her friend's infamous glare, she stuttered, "Ha-hai..."
Not believing that she got Hinata convinced, Ino said, "I'm helping you here, Hinata. I think it's time for you to take care of yourself instead of devoting all your life to your son." With this, Ino left Hinata's office and went back to her own table outside, leaving Hinata feeling miserable.
"Eh? Uzumaki-san is a high school teacher?" A random woman asked. Hinata's ears perked. A High School Teacher, huh... Wonder what Sasuke is doing now...
"I teach at Konoha High School," the man named Uzumaki replied. That's where Sasuke go to school... Glancing at her wrist watch, Hinata found out that it was already 11:30 pm.
"What subject do you teach?" Another random woman asked. Sasuke's good at every subject... Unconsciously tapping her finger on the table, Hinata's anxiety worsened.
"PE," Uzumaki said with a grin.
Can't stand it anymore, Hinata stood abruptly, causing some of the people to look, and approached her blonde friend who is enjoying her time flirting with her employee, Shikamaru, the only man among others in this group date that Hinata actually knew.
"Ne, Ino-chan," she said, earning the attention that she needed from her friend.
"What is it, dear? Are you enjoying yourself?" Ino bubbly asked. As much as Hinata didn't want to bother other people, especially her friend, she can't argue with herself anymore. She needed to go home. NOW.
"I... I think I need to go home now. We finished eating and it's already quarter to twelve. Sasuke might be worri-"
"Oh come on. Just wait a little bit longer. We're nearly done. Why don't you go to the counter and order for a drink? Go. Just tell the bartender that it's on me," Ino said encouragingly. Hinata bit her lips, and wanted to try again, but the others in the group date were somehow looking at her through accusing glares, clearly listening to their conversation. She had the feeling that she might destroy the mood if she decided to go home ahead of them.
Having left with no choice, and because she is a push-over, she said, "O-okay...", and groaned inwardly as she headed towards the bartender and told him what Ino told her. When the bartender offered her wine, she politely declined and asked for pineapple juice instead. After the bartender gave it to her, she busied herself in enjoying her juice.
"Hey. Hyuuga, was it?" A call from behind caught her attention. She whipped her head in time to see the familiar grinning face of Uzumaki Naruto.
"Hinata. Just call me Hinata, Naruto-kun," she said, causing Naruto's grin to widen.
"Great! You remembered my name," Naruto excitedly exclaimed. Hinata giggled.
"That's only expected since we already introduced ourselves earlier," she said sheepishly.
"Oh. Then let me introduce myself again," Naruto said as he held out his hand for a shake, which Hinata gratefully took. "Uzumaki Naruto, twenty-eight years old, a PE teacher, and current status is single."
"My, you're quite a charmer, Naruto-kun. But, I think they're calling you," Hinata stated, quite amused, as she tipped her head towards the bunch of women in their group date who are trying hard to get Naruto's attention. Naruto gestured something in return, which Hinata could only guess what it means. Hinata glanced at the ladies, and saw that they looked excited.
"I can't leave a lady drinking by herself, can I?" Naruto shrugged after he asked for some wine at the bartender. Charmed by what he said, Hinata gave him a smile. "What's bothering you, anyway?"
Startled at the sudden and unexpected question, Hinata was only able to reply, "Eh?"
"You look troubled," Naruto said, in a serious tone this time.
"Aa..." Hinata dragged, hoping that he'll leave it be. But the look on his face told her otherwise. "It's just my kid," Hinata sighed, completely surrendering.
"A son? How old?" Naruto asked as he took the glass of wine from the bartender's hand and drank it.
"Seventeen," she replied, amused at how Naruto spat what he drank afterwards. She had to force herself to refrain from laughing when Naruto choked out apologies to the bartender, who was the victim of his spit. "He's adopted," she reassured, and giggled at the relief on his face.
"What is it about this son of yours that is troubling you, then?" Naruto took another glass of wine from the bartender, who was scowling at him this time as if threatening Naruto to spit on him again.
"I'm... just wondering, you know," Hinata slowly said, picking her words carefully. "Wondering if I've been a good okaasan to him."
"When did you adopt him anyway?" Naruto managed to drink his wine without any problem this time.
"Ten years ago. He was still seven years old at that time, and he was such an adorable child back then," Hinata sighed longingly. "Though he's becoming bratty and insolent nowadays," she added, a frown marred on her face.
"You don't have to worry, Hinata," Naruto said, reassuringly. "From what I can see, you're a wonderful 'kaachan already," Naruto said, grinning at her. Hinata knew that she looked like a tomato by then.
"Ho-how can you say that?" Hinata stuttered, completely embarrassed at his compliment. She didn't manage to notice Naruto's eyes shift to the side for she was too preoccupied playing with the straw she used for her juice. She found it hard to look at Naruto's face right now.
"Well, instead of enjoying the night, you spent your time worrying about your son," Naruto started, his eyes still concentrated at the side, his hands doing some odd gestures. All these of course went unnoticed by the preoccupied Hyuuga, whose blush on her face is deepening at Naruto's every word.
"Tha-that's only natural for an okaasa-"
"And your face looked serene and beautiful whenever you talk about him," Naruto intervened, his eyes completely focused on Hinata's face this time.
At his words, Hinata's gaze went from the straw to Naruto's face as she hopefully asked, "R-really?"
"Yep! You really love him, don't you?" Hinata smiled as she slowly nodded. "Then you shouldn't be worried! Besides, we came here to celebrate, you know," Naruto said, grinning at Hinata's confused face.
"Eh? Celebrate wha-"
But before she could even finish her question, a loud song of "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" from behind startled her. When she turned around, she saw the others who are included in the group date surround her, Ino-chan leading, carrying a cake with two candles of number 2 and 8 on it, already lit and ready to be blown off.
When the song finished, a lot of "Happy Birthday, Hinata!" greeted her. Instantly, Hinata glanced at her watch. It was already 12:00 in the midnight, indicating the beginning of the 7th of December, which is her birthday date.
Bewildered at the surprise, she turned to her friend and asked, "Ino-chan! Ho-how did-"
"Being a busy person, it's understandable that you forgot your own birthday again, Hinata," Ino said with a smirk on her face. Others laughed at her statement, causing Hinata to blush again. Hinata blew off the candles and smiled at them.
"Arigatou," Hinata shyly said to them, causing the ladies to giggle at her, causing the men to chuckle, causing Shikamaru to smile, causing Naruto to grin like a Cheshire cat, and causing Ino to give her a very big hug after putting the cake down.
From then on, her worries about Sasuke flew away from her mind.
"Thanks for the ride," Hinata said as the car parked outside her house. Naruto shrugged and grinned at her in response.
"I should go inside now. It's already two o'clock in the morning," she said as she glanced at the house, the lights inside are off. Sasuke might be sleeping already. Anxiety started to get a hold of her.
When Naruto nodded at her, she freed herself from the seat belt and went out of the car. As she walked on the pavement towards the door of her house, she can't help but feel agitation as she neared her house. What will Sasuke say? This is not really her first time of coming home late. She used to come home very late due to her work, but that was before. Sasuke definitely knew that too.
"Wait," Naruto called from behind.
"What is it?" Hinata impatiently asked as she turned around only to feel something moist in contact to her cheeks, which grew hot afterwards. Eyes wide, Hinata can't seem to find her voice as she gazed at Naruto's face.
"Happy Birthday, Hinata. That was my present," Naruto said sheepishly, and Hinata can distinguish a thin streak of red on Naruto's cheeks. "Well then, ja!" He moved so fast, as if trying to avoid her stunned expression, and went inside his car before driving out from her sight.
Her heart beat pumping aggressively; Hinata composed herself for a moment before continuing her walk towards the dark house, stumbling a few times along the way.
When she reached the door, she fumbled for her keys inside her bag. After finding them, she hastily felt for the key for the entrance door before inserting it into the keyhole and turning it 45 degrees. The door opened, and she rushed inside, then shut it close.
"You're late," a voice suddenly said, which made her gasp and jump in surprise and alarm, only to realize the familiar sound. She noted the coldness in them and as she turned around, the small lamp beside the sofa switched on and Sasuke's silhouette appeared seating on the hand rest of the couch.
"Sa-Sasuke! You startled me. You're still awake?" She narrowed her eyes, trying to see clearly at the form of Sasuke, who rose and approached her. He halted a few feet before her, and Hinata realized how hard his gaze on her is, as if trying to keep in a boiling anger inside. His gaze seemed to be switching between glaring and looking indifferently before settling on a hard, stoic gaze, masking all his emotions. His lips, which she was sure were scowling at her, are formed in thin line, seemingly gritting his teeth. She never saw him like this before, not even during their arguments. Was he in a bad mood or something? Hinata didn't know. All she knew was that he was waiting for her, for how many hours already. She was about to apologize and explain, but Sasuke beat her to it.
"How's your date?" he asked in a tone of voice that caused Hinata to feel a sudden prickle of fear in her spine. Odd. She never felt this way in his presence before since adopting him ten years ago; even their recent arguments didn't give her this kind of sensation. How did he come up with that idea anyway? Did he saw them outside?
"Oh. Tha-that was just-" Hinata was about to correct him when, seeing his scrutinizing gaze and realizing the thin line of patience behind them, out of fear, she thought against it and retorted, "I-it was fine."
"Hn," Sasuke replied, his hard gaze still on her. "Good for you," he added in a natural voice, which made Hinata wince. It sounded like it was forced. After a long moment where Hinata felt her skin hair stand due to the heavy atmosphere, Sasuke walked past her and towards the stairs, clearly heading for his bedroom. Was it her imagination or did he just send her a fleeting accusing glare?
Hinata panicked. Sasuke never acted this way towards her before. Hinata concluded that Sasuke is very, VERY angry. She stuttered to apologize and to explain before he's out of her view, "Sasuke, I-"
"By the way," he interrupted her as he stood erected on the top of the stairs. Hinata frowned at the childish act. He perfectly made it clear that he didn't want to listen her, not even a single word. Hinata opened her mouth to begin another argument with him and reprimand him for his childish actions, considering that he's already a seventeen year old adolescent, only to be cruelly interrupted by him.
"Happy birthday," he icily said without turning back for a glance, and then walked towards his room. That last phrase made her taken aback, her thoughts went haywire. Did he wait for her for how many hours just to say those words?
Guilt nagged her conscience. Hinata knew that she made a terrible mistake when she heard a loud SLAM! upstairs and she wouldn't be surprised if that door will need to be mended the next day. The sound echoed throughout the house just as how her guilt echoed throughout her whole being.
Still processing what happened, her eyes blinked rapidly. Her mouth, left hanging, seemed dry, and she suddenly felt sick. Longing for water, she, who already familiarized the positions of the furniture, easily set on towards the kitchen in the dark. When she reached the arc that served as the entrance of the dining room, she stretched her hand and began fumbling for the switch on the wall. When her hand found it, she turned the lights on.
Relief swam inside Hinata as her vision came back and continued her pursuit for water. When she entered the dining room, however, she faltered at the sight before her.
She gasped at the decorations hanging from the ceiling; ribbons, frills, and a chain of big capital letters that formed, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY HINATA!" Her eyes widened at the dishes on the table, her heart pumped fast as she opened them one by one; onigiri, gyudon, sashimi, sushi, a big bowl of zenzai, and, to her amazement, lots of cinnamon rolls!
She could feel a burning, prickling sensation in the inner corners of her eyes and her throat, threatening to explode. She felt very sick at the moment and the craving for liquid to soothe her throat is demanding her full attention.
She ran to the kitchen and took a bottle of water inside the refrigerator and gobbled it in. After satisfying her thirst, though it didn't soothe her throat at all for the prickling sensation is still present, leaving her panting, she walked towards the recycle bin to throw the plastic bottle, only to halt and rushed back to the refrigerator and pulled it open. The empty bottle in her hand fell on the floor as her moist stinging eyes settled on the horribly made one layered cake.
Her dam broke, tears trailed down as she, with quivering hands, took the cake and laid it on the kitchen counter. Her eyes softened at the carelessly placed icing and the shaky letters of color red that formed "from me". Hinata heartily laughed while half sobbing at the same time, her lips trembling, at the phrase, knowing that he meant the cake to be the last surprise. Still feeling very sick, she covered her mouth with her shaking hands.
As she drowned herself in misery, a ribbon caught her attention, and when she glanced at it, realizing it was trapped between the covering of the trash bin by the counter, and feeling a horrible lurch in her gut, she approached it. When she opened the lid of the bin, shock sprawled over her widening eyes as they laid upon the soft petals of the lilacs. The trembling of her hands increased, a sob ready to break out for a second time, she reached out, caressed the ribbon, which was in fact a part of the bow, before clutching the whole set and pulling the bouquet out of the trash bin.
Her gaze settled on the lilacs, her favorite flowers, which are mixed colors of purple, pink, and white. Remembering what Ino said earlier, she thought, the lucky girl is me, Ino-chan. Then, she cried her heart out, torn from being touched and from the immense guilt that's throbbing in her chest, feeling more nauseated every minute.
"What's that?" Sasuke asked, eying the wrapped box on her hands suspiciously, finding it weird to be given one at midnight.
"A surprise gift of course!" Hinata exclaimed as she forced the box into his hands, and huffed, folding her arms in frustration. She was expecting a different reaction, you see, that includes a lot of "Wow!", "Thank you!", and definitely "I couldn't have asked for a better okaasan!" But then again, she would be suspicious at him if he did react the way she wanted him to. It would be way out of his character.
"What date is it again?" Sasuke lazily asked, not even bothering to glance at the calendar, big letters of July on its heading, on the wall by the door. There's this palpable red mark circling around the number 23.
"Mou, Sasuke! How could you forget your own birthday? We've been celebrating it every year for ten years," Hinata said disbelievingly as she watched her now seventeen year old son slowly rotating the wrapped box, as if inspecting it.
"Speak for yourself, you romantic nutter," Sasuke scoffed, only to receive a heavy blow behind his head, crying an "Ow!" in return. "What did you do that for, you mad woman?" he said, glaring at woman before him.
"Is that how you treat your okaasan?" Hinata reprimanded. Sasuke's usual lack of reply made Hinata settle on her usual assumption that he's regretting his actions. "Honestly, I'll give everything for someone to shower me a surprise on the eve of my birthday!" She stated, hoping to knock some sense into his head. "Even if it is just a small surprise gift, or a surprise party which consists of my favorite food and a homemade cake, it is enough to send me to heaven already," she added. Sasuke can't believe this woman. Was she so depraved when she was young?
"Keep dreaming, you hopeless romantic," Sasuke muttered, expecting her not to hear his words, only to feel the unexpected jab again behind his head, a loud "Ow!" and "Cut it out, you violent woman!" followed after.
End of Chapter 1
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